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The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) officially reopened Monday, Jan. 11. The Congressional appropriation amounts to $284 billion.

To promote widespread community access to capital, the agency will initially accept what it is calling “first draw” loans from small businesses that have yet to receive a PPP loan, and it will only be accepting those applications from lenders it has signaled as “community financial institutions.” Click here for more on the SBA program and for the PPP First Draw Application.

After that, the program opens to first-draw applicants working with all participating lenders.

On Jan. 13, small businesses applying for a second PPP loan will be able to do so, but once again only with community financial institutions. The PPP will then open up to all participating lenders “shortly thereafter,” the agency said, though it did not specify an exact date.

Jamie Billesbach, Director for the Central Mountain Small Business Development Center in Salida, said many of the rough edges from the prior PPP have been smoothed out.

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“They’re trying to be much fairer,” she said, adding that the newest round has focused on small businesses with 10 or fewer employees. It then opens up to businesses with 300 or fewer workers.

As well, she noted, this round includes 501 C (6) organizations, which includes chambers of commerce.

She said applicants still need to have reasonable credit, but that the SBA has rectified many previous problems.

“It offers a lot of relief,” said Billesbach.

Click here for participating Colorado Community Development financial institutions.

If you are a first-time applicant, click here for more information.

And if you are a qualified recipient returning for a second PPP loan, click here.

Learn more here about the Central Mountain Small Business Development Center.